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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Howe, Henry F. 2016. Making dispersal syndromes and networks useful in tropical conservation and restoration. Global Ecology and Conservation, Vol. 6, p. 152.


    Takeuchi, Masatoshi and Takeda, Yuma 2016. Dependence of the endangered arboreal snailSatsuma(Luchuhadra)eucosmia eucosmia(Camaenidae) onFicus(Moraceae) trees as its main habitat. Molluscan Research, p. 1.


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Can fruit pulp meet the calcium needs of tropical frugivorous passerines during reproduction?

  • Mercedes S. Foster (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266467413000643
  • Published online: 11 November 2013
Abstract
Abstract:

Calcium is an important nutrient for birds, especially for eggshell production and the mineralization of the skeleton of developing young. In temperate regions insects and seeds that form the bulk of the diet of breeding passerines do not contain sufficient calcium to meet the needs of breeding females and young; these birds obtain their calcium by eating snails, woodlice and millipedes. Little is known about the way tropical frugivorous passerines meet their calcium needs. The calcium contents of fruits of 34 species eaten by birds during the breeding season in mature floodplain forest in south-eastern Peru were determined. The suitability of these fruits as calcium sources for hypothetical 10-g and 25-g birds and for 26 species of frugivore that breed at the study site was evaluated based on bird body weight and on the rictal width of the bill, which influences feeding. Fruits of five species in the study area appear to be suitable sources of calcium for birds ≤25 g, although those of Ficus killipii (Moraceae) are likely optimal. The latter contain a lot of calcium (2.48% dry weight of pulp or c. 4.15 mg per pulp per fruit) and are small enough (mean diam. = 9 mm) for most birds to swallow whole, and trees produce large crops. Snails, woodlice and millipedes are common in the area and also contain sufficient calcium to meet birds’ needs. In addition, birds could likely meet their calcium needs through geophagy at natural mineral licks.

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1Corresponding author. Email: fosterm@si.edu
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